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How to get out of a miserable world

  It is the distinctive style of Cao Wenxuan’s children’s novels to connect children’s growth experience with unfortunate encounters, and to test the characters’ bearing of suffering in the world. Abrams, a master of modern and contemporary literary theory in Europe and the United States, pointed out: “In terms of the theme, the ‘Initiative Novels’ emphasize the development of the protagonist’s thinking and character. crisis in life, and then grow up and realize their position and role in the world’.” When Cao Wenxuan used the children in the story to face the living conditions of human beings, readers always felt the tragic quality of life, even a A helpless soul, but they never lose the courage to face difficulties.
  Under the reflection of the International Children’s Literature Writer Award – “International Hans Christian Andersen Award”, we see the significance of Cao Wenxuan’s fairy tales being with Andersen. He writes children’s stories with adult hardships, and Andersen’s “non-children-oriented” fairy tales with depressive sadness, forming Chinese and Western children’s suffering narratives that can be compared and compared. Li Hongye, a scholar engaged in the research of Andersen’s fairy tales, once said in the paper “Cao Wenxuan’s Novel Art and Andersen’s Fairy Tales”: “If we want to find the various spiritual connections between contemporary children’s literature writers and Andersen’s fairy tales, the point of view we pursue can be in the Cao Wenxuan.” One sentence pointed out the origin of communication between Chinese children’s literature and Western literature, and also confirmed that Cao Wenxuan borrowed and developed elements from Andersen’s fairy tale world. This study chooses “suffering narrative” as the perspective to explore Cao Wenxuan’s inheritance of Hans Christian Andersen’s “principle of suffering”.
  1. Mobilize the experience and cognition of life: the essence of “suffering narrative” in Cao Wenxuan’s children’s literature. In
  1997, “The Grass House” was published, which set the tone of the suffering of Cao Wenxuan’s children’s stories. The growth path of the protagonists in his works is not smooth, and they must go through hardships and hardships in order to obtain spiritual sublimation. As far as the form of expression is concerned, this is a kind of thinking and exploration of the way out for people. In a sense, Cao Wenxuan uses his own subjective experience to express his inner judgment on human life form and spiritual situation.
  Cao Wenxuan lived as a child in Yancheng, northern Jiangsu, where the conditions were relatively difficult in the 1950s and 1960s. It was a red revolutionary area, and the scene of the local people “seesawing” with reality is an indelible memory for him. In his creation, he consciously infiltrated his emotions into the tragic fate of the people, and reproduced the misfortune of specific groups with one story after another. In “The Grass House”, the naughty and mischievous Sangsang got an incurable disease later, and his parents began to seek medical treatment in a difficult way; Zhiyue was discriminated against and bullied because of her illegitimate daughter’s birth, so she couldn’t stay in the village and left…Cao Wenxuan used the hardships of a family to show the helpless living conditions of people in those years. “Red Tile and Black Tile” is a continuation of “Grass House”. Through the two images of red tile house and black tile house, it depicts the desire and hope of the local people to enter the school in the era of scarcity of materials. The kid who failed to enter high school finally suffered the hardships of life after accepting the truth of reality step by step.
  Whether it is the presentation of a distressed situation or the expression of a wounded spirit, Cao Wenxuan’s children’s stories have an archetypal background as the basis for their suffering narratives. From this, it can be said that the absurd reality and the suffering caused by the gap between it and human endurance are often presented by Cao Wenxuan’s experience in mobilizing life cognition, and it is also a narrative resource for him to create a positive mood.
  2. “Development of Suffering”: Cao Wenxuan’s Inheritance of Andersen’s “Non-Child-Based”
  Cao Wenxuan once thought that he was not a very typical children’s literature writer, because in the process of writing, he generally seldom considered that the reading objects of his works were children, and even less considered that children were the only reading objects of his works. Suffering, as an eternal proposition in the literary world, is not only shown for children in the famous Danish children’s literature “Andersen’s Fairy Tales”. For example: Alisa in “The Wild Swan” was hindered by the queen and the bishop, but she still sacrificed her life to rescue her brother; in “The Firm Tin Soldier”, it was written that the tin soldier finally danced tragically with his beloved doll in the fire; The Daughter of the Sea describes how a mermaid pays a tragic price for love; in “Mother’s Story”, a mother is willing to have her chest cut by thorns full of ice cores in order to snatch her dying child back from death. He sacrificed his own eyes and even his black hair. These contents with strong adult elements reflect the truth that Andersen himself repeatedly explained, that is, his novels are not just created for children’s literature.
  ”I write fairy tales with all my heart and soul, but I don’t forget the grown-ups either. When I write a story for children, I always remember that their mother and father will be listening too. , so I also have to write something for them and let them think about it.” We can say that Andersen vividly and delicately reveals the painful modality suppressed by the irrational reality in the adult world in the form of fairy tales, expressing a kind of The spirit of struggle against injustice. Children are moved by the bizarre plot, while adults are attracted by the philosophy in the story. Zhou Zuoren, as an early scholar who studied fairy tales, published the article “A Brief Discussion on Fairy Tales”, in which he mentioned the characteristics of Andersen’s fairy tales when discussing “man-made fairy tales”: the fairy tales of modern Europeans are only Danish Andersen (Andersen
  ) The most important thing is that because of its natural nature, it is seventy years old, and it has not changed its childlike innocence, so it can be done like this, and no neighbor can ridicule it. Therefore, those who use people as fairy tales today are limited to Anshi. Like the American Hawthorne, his works mostly retell ancient myths and polish them.
  Although this discussion is Zhou Zuoren’s exploration of the classification of fairy tales, it shows how Andersen injected bizarre and absurd national legends and fairy tales into his fairy tales, which made his creations have a “non-childish” tragic color. Cao Wenxuan’s related techniques have been written in a “non-child-oriented” style with Chinese characteristics, showing the context of inheritance and variation. Xiao Mingzi in “Goats Don’t Eat Grass of Paradise” went to the city to earn a living in isolation, and the tall buildings everywhere made him feel small and panicked; Bronze in “Bronze Sunflower” gave up the opportunity to go to school to Sunflower, and he reluctantly gave up his dream of studying , working hard to earn money and improve living conditions; Lanlan in “Fenglindu” experienced the pain of being trampled on her dignity and being torn apart when she arrived in the city; Experienced all kinds of joys and sorrows and ups and downs in life.
  These growth stories accompanied by hardships make the children in Cao Wenxuan’s works experience the pain of adulthood. He seems to ask readers to think about how human nature will get out of the miserable world after being distorted to the point of losing normalcy. The commonality with Andersen’s humanitarian spirit is Cao Wenxuan’s praise of life. He allows the characters in the story to still have a longing for beauty and happiness despite hardships. Whether it is the sensational effect of the expression of suffering, or the degree of alienation caused by suffering, Cao Wenxuan’s children’s stories do not present heartbreaking scenes, but rationally deny people’s illusions and hypotheses about happiness, and make a contribution to the suffering. The masses search for a possible way out.
  The emphasis on revealing the weaknesses of human nature and the creation and expression of the need to go through hardships to achieve an ideal state are important manifestations of Andersen’s fairy tales. Although it belongs to the narrative form of the combination of romanticism and realism in European literature in the 19th century, the “principle of suffering” that transcends time and space has been reproduced by Chinese writers today. In the pursuit of the eternity and classic value of literature, we have seen the “coincidence” between Cao Wenxuan and Andersen.

  Li Hongye once pointed out in “Cao Wenxuan’s Novel Literature and Andersen’s Fairy Tales”: “However, we will be surprised to find that his works all reveal the spiritual character similar to Andersen’s fairy tales, such as poetic quality and the spirit of beauty. , the theme of love, feelings of compassion, etc., this is the result of his conscious pursuit of the classic character of literature.” It can be seen that Cao Wenxuan has absorbed nutrients from the perspective of Andersen’s non-child-centered thought, and transformed it into a literary work with its own national temperament. Narratives of children’s suffering in China. However, except for the imitation of some elements, Cao Wenxuan’s children’s literature has many completely different characteristics from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. For example, Andersen used a lot of folk legends and myths to form a fantasy writing for children’s stories, and Cao Wenxuan transformed it into a presentation of “turning from the reality of adults to the reality of children’s real existence and real problems” facing reality. This transformation shows the author’s advanced consciousness in inheritance.
  ”Art comes from life.” The suffering in Cao Wenxuan’s works is not fantasies and boundless fantasies. First, it inherits the literary and artistic technique of describing suffering in the Danish children’s literature “Andersen’s Fairy Tales”. Looking back, especially the color of the times reflected in those key historical moments. “A long time often makes the most ordinary objects have a kind of beauty”, “beautiful things are often a little ‘distant’, which is one of its characteristics”, which is one of the reasons why Cao Wenxuan chose to look back at his childhood life. Therefore, from the perspective of children, Cao Wenxuan mobilizes his childhood experience and his own unique spirit, and tells people about the adult world in the eyes of children. The childhood of children’s literature writers cannot be reproduced, but they can reproduce their own childhood in the spiritual world and polish it. Although the souls of these writers have developed and grown up, it is impossible to re-manage a child with a pure and naive mentality, but the writer analyzes and re-watches from the perspective of a third party, and the re-shaped childhood has its own particularity, and it is very likely It avoids the cunning and hypocrisy of the adult education world, and reflects the original ecology of life for readers. Whether it is Lanlan who was born in the countryside and oppressed by the high city walls in “Fenglin Ferry”, or the little boy who fell in love with a city girl with a pure heart in the mountains in “Wild Windmill”, they can all reflect the realistic memories of Cao Wenxuan’s childhood.
  ”The tin soldier is still standing, although his whole body is on fire. He only feels that the temperature on his body is unbearably high, but he doesn’t know whether it comes from the real flame or the heat of love.” This tragic and tragic fragment comes from Andersen “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” sees the big from the small, focusing everyone’s attention on a tiny puppet soldier, and at the same time reflects the image of the bottom-level characters in the middle class, expressing social pain points with their suffering.
  Cao Wenxuan has perfectly inherited Andersen’s characteristic-describing suffering. He turned his sympathetic sights to a large number of characteristic groups that have nothing to do with actual existence. They struggled to live and died alone. These poor people are only looking for a little happiness, a little comfort, but this idea is very difficult to achieve, as if an invisible magic power is cursing them. They don’t know how to work hard or how to change, and they keep missing opportunities. The suffering and incompetence of these small characters reflected in the novel also show the weakness of human nature, but this is not a ruthless dissection. The author just looks at the soul, faces it squarely, and reflects on his own evil, so the author also has a heart. Greater thought and emotional tension, making people feel close and caring.
  The contest between justice and evil is an important part of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. He sensitively captured children’s confusion about the absolute distinction between good and evil, so there are few perfect heroes in his fairy tales, and it is rare to see absolute villains. These characters generally have two sides. Good guys have a sense of justice but are weak, and bad guys often have surreal abilities, but at the same time they do stupid and ridiculous behaviors. The characters created in his stories are not only in line with children’s intuitive understanding, but also contain the enlightenment of non-children’s concept of justice. Cao Wenxuan makes readers think that human beings are a combination of demons and angels, and what the world has to do is to inspire the purest side of human beings and develop angels, so that the existence of evil can be redirected to beauty. These performances of good and evil originate to a large extent from the realization and awakening of the writer’s life consciousness, and are also a high degree of representation of the writer’s inner spirit.
 
  Andersen once said that fairy tales are “Aladdin’s magic lamp for his wandering life”. He just told readers the suffering he experienced through the simplest writing and in the most popular way. Cao Wenxuan uses suffering to describe the suffering that the country has experienced in a certain historical time and space. We can glimpse a certain degree of passivity in him when it comes to human issues. In a sense, this is Cao Wenxuan’s anti-posture against irrational reality in order to provide readers with the truth about the unfortunate spiritual realm of human society. Rather than saying that he is a pessimist, it is better to say that he often consciously hits the truth behind happiness and beauty, questioning the true state of life. “Seeing through suffering”, “fighting against suffering” and “overcoming suffering” can be regarded as the spiritual law created by Cao Wenxuan after inheriting Andersen’s expression of suffering, and also the survival philosophy realized by the author.